If you chose to watch the Red Sox tonight rather than one of the two Monday Night Football games, I applaud you. There really wasn’t much of a reason to watch this one, so I tip my cap to the die-hard, 162 fans out there.
Of course, I still watched the game, out of both obligation to write the recap, and because I’m a twisted individual. Even if the result doesn’t matter, there were some positives to take away. Kutter Crawford was fantastic after surrendering a home run on the first pitch he threw. The only other run he allowed was in his final inning, after Rafaela slipped in the outfield, giving the Rangers an extra base and forcing the Red Sox infield to play on the grass, allowing a ground ball to get through to the outfield.
It was the fourth straight game in which the Red Sox starter went six innings, and I’m starting to think this Red Sox team is actually some elaborate social experiment to see what it takes to break me. I mean, after a month where every starting pitcher struggled to make it through four innings and forced Alex Cora to turn to Kyle Barraclough in a tight spot, now all of a sudden the starters provide some length? Come on. If I am in a Truman Show-type situation where spectators are hoping the Red Sox break my spirit, I’d like the producers to know that it will take a Bill Buckner-esque error to break me, and even then I’ll still take pride in how close we were to a title.
You’re welcome, Mariners.
Kutter Crawford (6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 7 K)
Again, Crawford was excellent excluding the first-pitch home run by Marcus Semien. Crawford is at a career-high in innings and has seen his velocity dip in starts, yet he’s still found ways to be successful. He’s made similar adjustments to Nick Pivetta by increasing his slider and sweeper usage while using his curveball to steal strikes early in counts. The right offspeed pitch mix to play off his superb fastball can make Crawford a very effective pitcher in some capacity.
Bobby Dalbec (2-4, R)
I really wish Bobby Dalbec was actually good. It probably isn’t in the cards for him to be a big-league regular with his plate discipline and contact issues, but he seems like a nice guy, and he’s a certified fan favorite. We’ll always have August 2021.
Rob Refsnyder (1-4, RBI)
Refsynder had just one hit, but it was the biggest hit of the game. A two-run single in the eighth, and that was all they needed. Refsynder continues to hit lefties well. While he’s not a superstar, he’s a solid piece to have available.
Trevor Story (0-3, K)
Story really cannot hit right now. Let’s just hope with a healthy offseason and full spring training he can become serviceable. “Serviceable” isn’t the word you like to see attached to a contract that size, but anything would be an upgrade over what Story is doing with the bat right now.
Ceddane Rafaela (0-4, 2 K)
He’s a rookie, these nights happen. I’m just happy to see him getting regular major-league experience.
Pablo Reyes (0-4)
Pablo Reyes isn’t meant to be hitting fifth in a major league lineup. No offense to Pablo, but that’s just not the player he is. He’s probably not an everyday player on a World Series contender, but he’s a nice depth piece to have.
Play of the Game
Here’s the aforementioned Rob Refsnyder single to take the lead. Good job, Rob.